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Woodcutter sentenced to life imprisonment till death in Gudiya rape-murder case

The postmortem report revealed that she had been raped and murdered.

Bhawani Negi | Shimla |

Forty-seven months after the brutal rape and murder of Gudiya (name changed) a school girl, the local court in Shimla on Friday pronounced life imprisonment till death to the lone accused in the case.

The Special Judge Rajiv Bhardwaj in the presence of the accused Anil Kumar alias Nillu announced the sentence to life imprisonment till death, for rape under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and life imprisonment under Section 302 of IPC and to pay a fine of Rs 10,000. Both the sections would run concurrently.

Nillu had been convicted for the heinous criminal act on 28 April,2021 after he was found guilty under Section of rape 376 (2) 1, 376 (A), and murder Section 302 of the IPC and Section 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The infamous Gudiya case had sparked off massive protests in Shimla district four-years ago, after a 16-year old girl returning from school had gone missing on 4 July, 2017. Two days later her body was found naked in the dense forest of Kotkhai in Shimla district.

The postmortem report revealed that she had been raped and murdered.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted headed by the then IG Zahur Zaidi, who arrested six persons including a local youth on charges of rape and murder.

One of the persons, a Nepali youth, Suraj died in police custody under mysterious circumstances in the Kotkhai Police Station.

Enraged, mob of people dissatisfied with the police investigations set the police station on fire.

Amidst public anger and outcry the Himachal High Court handed over the case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). CBI registered two separate cases Gudiya rape and murder and custodial death of Suraj.

The remaining five persons arrested along with Suraj were released due to lack of evidence.

The CBI arrested nine police officers and employees including IG Zahur Zaidi in the Suraj murder case and challan was presented in the court against them.

Later, all these police officers were released.

The CBI taking forward the investigations in Gudiya rape and murder case arrested woodcutter Anil Kumar on 13 April, 2018 and on 29 May, 2018 CBI submitted charge sheet in court against Nillu.